Gyula Horn

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Gyula Horn (2007)
Foreign ministers Genscher (left) and Gyula Horn (right) meet in Hungary (1989)
Gyula Horn at the award ceremony for the Memmingen Freedom Prize 1525 (2005)

Gyula Horn [ ˈɟulɒ ˈhorn ] (born July 5, 1932 in Budapest ; † June 19, 2013 ibid) was a Hungarian politician. He was Foreign Minister in 1989/1990 and Prime Minister of his country from 1994 to 1998 . Gyula Horn became internationally known in 1989 when the Iron Curtain was opened .


After an apprenticeship as a mechanic at Siemens in Budapest from 1946 to 1949, he studied from 1949 to 1954 at the University of Finance in Rostov ( Soviet Union ).

Professional and political career

After completing his studies, Horn held various positions in the Hungarian Ministry of Finance until 1959. During the Hungarian uprising in 1956, he participated in the persecution of insurgents as a member of the "quilted jacket brigade" (ung. Pufajkások ). The brigade was used to conduct the post-uprising wave of cleanups.

Horn switched to the diplomatic service of the Foreign Ministry in 1959 , where he was from 1969 to 1982 employee, from 1974 deputy head of the department for foreign affairs at the Central Committee of the MSZMP ( Magyar Szocialista Munkáspárt ) . In 1982 he was promoted to head of this department and in 1985 became Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

In 1989, Horn was appointed Foreign Minister of Hungary in the cabinet of Prime Minister Miklós Németh . On April 18, 1989, Hungary began to dismantle the border fences with Austria. The round table talks began on June 13 in Hungary. On June 27, Horn and his Austrian counterpart Alois Mock cut the border fence near Sopron in a symbolic act. On August 19, 1989, the Pan-European Picnic took place with Hungarian approval , during which several hundred GDR citizens came to Austria. In the following weeks this encouraged thousands of GDR citizens to try to cross the border from Hungary to Austria; Thousands traveled from the GDR for it.

Horn announced on Hungarian television on September 10th that Hungary would allow the many GDR citizens who were in the country to leave the country and that the border to Austria would be opened. Within a few months, this led to the fall of the Wall and the overcoming of the ideological division of Europe.

In 1990, after Németh was voted out of office, Horn became a member of the Hungarian parliament and chairman of the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP). Horn was the Hungarian Prime Minister from 1994 to 1998. His premier presidency was marked by radical economic reforms (see Bokros package ).

Positions and honors

In an interview with the German magazine Superillu in 1999, when asked why he broke with communism, Horn said: “It was a long process. German politicians played a major role in this. From 1974 we were the first Eastern Bloc country to have close contacts with the SPD and other Western European social democratic parties. We studied how the social market economy and democracy work in practice. And have recognized that what happened in Hungary is of no use to the country and will not lead to an upswing. "

In Wertheim am Main (Baden-Württemberg) there has been a street named after him since 2001. In Germany streets are rarely named after people who are still alive.

In 2003 Gyula Horn was one of the co-founders of the World Political Forum initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev .

With reference to Horn's participation in the quilted jacket brigade after the 1956 uprising, President László Sólyom refused to award him the Great Hungarian Cross of Merit in 2007 on the occasion of his 75th birthday.

Sickness and death

After his 75th birthday celebrations in the summer of 2007, Gyula Horn collapsed and was treated in a Budapest military hospital. After six years of treatment, he died in a state health center in June 2013. Horn was buried in Budapest in the Kerepesi temető ( German  Kerepescher Friedhof ).


Web links

Commons : Gyula Horn  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Hungary's ex-Prime Minister Gyula Horn has passed away
  2. a b So much for the beginning of the end in the press on June 19, 2009, accessed on May 26, 2011.
  3. With bolt cutters against a system , Deutschlandfunk, June 27, 2014
  4. Europe: Revue d'Europe. Magazine for Europe, Volume 43, Issues 5–12, p. 83
  5. Quotation from: Superillu from May 12, 1999 (issue 20/1999), page 16, interview with Gerald Praschl.
  6. ORF : Sólyom rejects award for horn
  7. ^ Pester Lloyd : Gyula Horn seriously ill ( Memento from November 12, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  8. Index: Meghalt Horn Gyula
  9. The grave of Gyula Horn
  10. List of all decorations awarded by the Federal President for services to the Republic of Austria from 1952 (PDF; 6.9 MB)